10 The Mall, previously the Bombay Spice and the venue of a previous visit by our crew.
Back then there were fold back windows opening into a rather dated restaurant, giving the impression of a failing interest, backed up by the lacklustre food . We were unimpressed and rated it as more of an end of evening curry place after the pub.
However, between August and October friends and local trades, amidst lots of encouragement from the local traders , spent their time refurbishing 10 The Mall, stripping it back and helping the new owners stamp their own mark on the place. They were fortunate enough to stumble across Rob and Sophie Whelan who run the Graft Workshop and who designed a beautiful mural which was placed in the front of the restaurant. They kitted out the rest of the interior with wallpaper from Whittaker Wells (#boyswhosew) who are newly-based on Whiteladies Road and transformed what was a dated business into the vibrant colourful venue it now is..
The food is sourced locally with the meat coming from Ruby and White, Charles Saunders supplying the fish and Bristol Sweet Mart supplying vegetables and grains.
It is heart warming to listen to the passion Raja has when speaking of the work put into the long awaited aim of owning his own restaurant , and his passion of food is abundantly clear when you take a seat and take a view of the menu.
Menu 29, taking inspiration from all 29 states in India gives a totally different choice from any other Indian restaurant we have been into.
What strikes you immediately is that the options are not just chicken and Lamb which even the most recently opened high quality Indian venues have strictly adhered to , but pork and beef dishes , as well as a varied vegetarian option all readily available, inviting you to indulge in the many different foods from the states across India.
The menu is full of delicious looking choices, and hardly surprising as the head chef Arvind has worked as a chef in Taj hotels in India and various restaurants in the U.K.The second chef Gajendar has come from London, having worked in some of its top Indian restaurants – Dishoom and Cinnamon Club.
Tandoori Lamb chop
Lamb chops, turmeric, ground herb marinade, nutmeg and clove
I mean, seriously, too good to describe, tender incredibly spiced lamb that just melts
I really could have had plate after plate
Fresh cod battered with chickpea flour, ginger, roasted garlic, lemon and sundried Kashmiri chillies
Delicate, fresh, just beautiful food
Plancha-seared scallops marinated with tulsi (holy basil), green chillies, garlic and mustard oil
Perfectly cooked, only slightest mention that perhaps the coriander was a little strong for the scallop
Malai Chicken Tikka
Chicken marinated with cheese, cream, cardamom, coriander and white pepper
Described by our man as the best starter ever
Buht pork Jolokia
Diced pork, Kafir lime,naga chilli, infused in vinegar onion
Now I am such a fan of naga chilli, as it has the heat and the taste, and this had both in perfect balance.
A traditional Nawab kitchen spice, slow cooked lamb shank. Served with baby naan
Perfectly balanced spices
Mirchi masala chicken
An exquisite indulgence of chicken, herbs, spices, ginger, garlic and fresh coriander
Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani
Slow-cooked lamb in a sealed pot with basmati rice, fresh mint leaves, fresh green chilli coriander and herbs
Served with a raita
Laal Maas Handi
Lamb cooked in a roasted garlic, red chilli, fresh tomatoes and pepper sauce
Described by the lucky consumer as outstanding
The food really is outstanding.
We chatted to a very engaging Raja afterwards who was particularly interested , having been open only a week to hear everyones views of what was good and what was not so good.
In truth the only slight offering we could offer were that they didn’t have cobra on draught . Not really a deal breaker !
In summary, its so welcome to have a new restaurant opening, in a great part of town by people who genuinely love what they are doing.
Raja and Charlotte have spent a while travelling across India , and they have poured their obvious love and passion for the food into Nutmeg and offered their clients the chance to be taken through their own gastro journey , as each dish has a note stating where it has come from.
They have taken a conscious decision to embrace India as a whole, by making it all about the food, crossing borders and culture to offer the full variety of Indian cuisine at what must be close to its finest.
Treat someone, treat yourself, go and eat at Nutmeg, delicious food, great service, lovely people
Check out trip advisor, see the reviews there and be assured that this is a restaurant that will go from strength to strength